"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Test Drive: Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” on the EEEPC


Ubuntu's upgrade season at last arrived. I must say I haven't paid a lot of attention, this time, to the new release (I even missed the beta release date) and to the endless discussions that usually follow any new version. By the way I downloaded Ubuntu and prepared my old 1GB flash drive in order to give it at least a look.

First impressions

The boot time seems good even with the increased disk image size (and my slow flash disk drive). Here is how the new release looks, just after the boot.
Unity appears to be globally fluid even on the not-so-fast EEEPC, the side bar appears a little crowded, on the small screen but removing unneeded icons isn't a problem.
Among the many changes I'd like to note the new “Online accounts” settings that should greatly increase Ubuntu's social networks integration.

Searching the dash

Most of the discussion on the 'net has been, this time, about how Ubuntu integrated the dash search with a search in Amazon's store. Must be said that all that search integration have been made in a mostly unobtrusive way:
if you search in the “home” folder of the dash you only get what you have on your computer
if you search in the “applications” folder you get results from your computer and from Ubuntu software centre
Here what you get if you search in the “music” section
last but not least the “media” search
At first I wasn't very positive about this solution but, after seeing it, I must admit it isn't as bad as I thought. By the way I read you can disable it.

Conclusion

I'm not going to replace Mint 12 on my EEEPC but I liked how Ubuntu 12.10 and Unity behaved on it. Might like Unity or not but it's undeniable how, in few years, it gained relevance in the Linux panorama.